November 17th, 2019 – 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

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November 17th, 2019

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

“By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”

Tithing Refresher

Last year I introduced the idea of Tithing, and offered the Gloria Gatherings as an opportunity to understand the biblical and historical understanding of tithing and what it means for our lives.  (If you weren’t able to attend one of the Gloria Gatherings, I encourage you to watch the video of it on our website.)

Since last year, I have noticed a greater effort in our parish to strive toward tithing, and for this I am very grateful.

I want to offer a few thoughts as a “refresher” on the topic of tithing.

Scripture says: “Give to the Most High as he has given to you, generously, according to your means” (Sirach 35:12).  Tithing is based off of this scripture passage.  Tithing is not about giving a particular dollar amount every year, nor is it about expecting everyone to give the same amount.  Tithing refers to each person giving back to God according to their own means.  Traditionally, this is 10% of our annual income.

The Bible talks a lot about tithing.  In Genesis, we hear Abraham saying to God: “Of everything you give me, I will return a tenth part to you without fail” (Genesis 28:22).  God also promises to bless those who give to him.  We hear the Lord say through the prophet Malachi: “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, and see if I do not open the floodgates of heaven for you, and blessing without measure!” (Malachi 3:10).

One of the best places to start as we consider tithing to church is to find out just how much of our income we have given over the past year.  Take your annual church giving, divide it by your annual income, and move the decimal point right two places.  This is the percentage of your income you have given to the church that year.  (See the flyer in today’s bulletin.)

I recognize that donating 10% of your income may sound intimidating or impossible.  I don’t expect anyone to be able to give 10% immediately, but I do want to encourage you to take a step closer to that goal.  Could you consider increasing your annual giving by 1% this coming year?

For example, let’s say a household income is $70,000, and they donated $1,000 to church last year (i.e. $19 per week).  While one thousand dollars sounds like a lot, it actually ends up being just 1.4% of their income.  If this family were able to increase their giving by 1% this coming year, for a total of 2.4%, that would equal $1,680, or $32 per week.  Would you be willing to increase your giving by 1% this year?

If you would find it easier to give electronically, I invite you to visit our website for more information about setting up recurring automatic giving.

Also, kid’s envelopes are available in the back of church if your child would like a box!

Thank you all for your generous financial commitment to Immaculate Conception.

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. VanDenBroeke

December 5 Event on the The Dignity and Gift of the Elderly

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The Dignity and Gift of the Elderly in our Families and Parish

Please join us for this free event…
Thursday, December 5, 2019
Mass at 8am, followed by refreshments and program

Please RSVP by calling the Parish Office at 507-744-2829

The morning will include:

  • Mass
  • Refreshments
  • Reflections from Saint Pope John Paul II on the Elderly
  • A presentation by Bill Marsella on Legacy Giving

Bill Marsella is the Director of Partner Relations at the Catholic Community Foundation. A certified Legacy Facilitator with nearly 40 years of gift planning experience, Bill has a passion for helping others be remembered for generations to come.

Anyone is welcome to attend this event, however, the focus will especially be on uplifting the elderly through the beautiful words of Saint Pope John Paul II, and for individuals or families interested in estate planning ideas.

October 27th, 2019 – 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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October 27th, 2019

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“…for whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Praying for the Dead

November is a special month for remembering and praying for the dead.  We begin the month with two particular feast days: All Saints Day (November 1st), and All Souls Day (November 2nd).

On All Saints Day, we remember the holy men and women who have gone before us in faith.  These are the men and women whom the Church has canonized, or officially recognized as in heaven.  We learn from the example of their lives of faith, and we seek to imitate them.  We also ask for their intercession.  Just as they prayed for their family and friends when they were on this earth, so now in heaven, they continue to pray for all their brother and sisters united in Christ as their prayers ascend to the throne of God.  As Scripture says: “and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God” (Revelation 8:4).

As Catholics, we also have a long tradition on All Souls Day of praying for our loved ones who have gone before us.  When someone dies, we naturally want to say things like “they are in heaven now”.  And while this is our confident hope through Christ, the reality is that most people will likely first go to purgatory.  The Catechism says it this way, “All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven” (CCC 1030).

The Catechism then goes on to encourage prayers for the dead: “‘Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sins’ (2 Maccabees 12:46).  From the beginning the Church as honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God.  The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead” (CCC 1032).

On All Souls Day we pray for the souls in Purgatory, especially our loved ones, that through the mercy of our Lord, they may quickly be admitted into the Heavenly Kingdom.

I encourage you during this month of November to be sure to take some time to remember and pray for the dead.  Perhaps even visit the cemetery where your loved ones are buried.  And as we reflect on the reality of death, this gives way to the promise of life.  Because we believe that “As Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).

Finally, an All Souls Day envelope is included in your giving packet.  We invite you to include the names of those you would like remembered, and put it in the regular collection.  Note cards with your loved one’s names will be placed in front of the altar throughout the month of November as a symbol of our prayers for them.

Know of my daily prayers for you.

God bless you,

Fr. VanDenBroeke


 October 20th, 2019 – 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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 October 20th, 2019

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

World Mission Sunday 

“But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

Archdiocesan Synod

As you may have heard in The Catholic Spirit newspaper, Archbishop Hebda has convoked an Archdiocesan Synod to assist him in shepherding this local church.  In the June 6th Catholic Spirit article on the Synod, Archbishop Hebda wrote that he hopes the Synod process will help us to “draw on the gifts that have been bestowed in such abundance on the faithful of this archdiocese to discern and establish clear pastoral priorities in a way that will both promote greater unity and lead us to a more vigorous proclamation of Jesus’ good news.”

The Synod is a two-year process and will involve every parish in the Archdiocese.  The first year (2019/2020) will have 20 Prayer & Listening events throughout the Archdiocese where the faithful will be invited to attend one event to share what is on their heart and in their prayer regarding pastoral priorities for this Archdiocese.  The second year (2020/2021) will involve a consultation process at the Parish, Deanery and Archdiocesan levels on topics that arise from the first year.

I want to invite everyone from our parish to attend one of the Prayer & Listening events. While there are a total of 20 of these events scattered around the Archdiocese, there will be three of them especially nearby:

  • Tuesday, October 29th, 6-9pm – Divine Mercy in Faribault
  • Thursday, November 7th, 6-9pm – St. Wenceslaus in New Prague
  • Friday, November 15th, 6-9pm – All Saints in Lakeville

Archbishop Hebda is planning to personally attend each of these Prayer & Listening sessions.  At each of these sessions, participants will gather together to pray, discuss, and give feedback on what is working well now in their parish and this Archdiocese, and what are the challenges and opportunities as we move forward together.

I hope you’ll take advantage of this opportunity to hear from the Archbishop, listen to feedback from other Catholics around the Archdiocese, and offer your own feedback on the strengths and weaknesses in our parishes and in our Archdiocese.

In addition to attending a Prayer & Listening session, here are some additional ways the Archbishop is asking all Catholics of the Archdiocese to participate in the synod:

  • Please pray for the Synod and our Archdiocese!
  • In Year 2 of the Synod (Fall 2020), everyone will be invited to join a parish small group.

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. VanDenBroeke



Appalachia Christmas Project 2019

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All parishioners are encouraged to participate in this holiday project!

Boxes are located at the side doors of church for your donations.



No war toys or dangerous toys! Items in bold are especially desired. If you prefer to contribute money to purchase additional gifts/food for Christmas dinners for families, contact the Parish Office. Please be as generous as possible. For many families these are the only gifts they receive for Christmas.


Diapers and pins, blankets, sleepers, crib mobiles, powder, lotion, shirts, rattles, teething rings, baby toys, etc.


Pull toys, soft toys, cars & trucks, blocks, balls, dolls, etc.

Age 4-12

Books, games, marbles, jump ropes, coloring books & colors, basic school supplies, cars & trucks, jacks, dolls, markers, socks & underwear, etc.

Ages 12-18

Games, cosmetics, jewelry, sports equipment, batteries, music box, wallet, fishing equipment, camouflage vests, sweatshirts, socks & underwear, watch, purse, belt, hunting clothes, sports equipment, toiletries, etc.

Elderly & Adults

Powder, slippers, billfold, large size shirt, purse, scarf, mittens, sweat suit, knee high socks, lotion, jewelry, nail clipper, blanket, towel, underwear, bedding etc.


Toiletry items, dry detergent, *hard candy, *dried fruit and *nuts, craft kits, Christmas ornaments, wrapping paper/tags. *All candy/dried fruit/nuts should be separate and sealed to keep moisture out.  No canned goods or food items. Use zip lock bags for lotion/shampoo.  Be sure to mark what’s inside!  No articles that can be damaged by freezing.  Coats/blankets are especially needed in the sub-zero temp. Shoes, youth –adult.


Age appropriate. Something fun(toy), hygiene items(toothbrush, toothpaste, washcloth, etc.), useful (school supplies), warm (gloves, stocking hats, scarves, socks), religious items. You can giftwrap if you choose (Please wrap cover separate from the bottom) and mark if the box is for a GIRL or BOY and what age (2-4) (5-9) (10-14).

Thank you for blessing someone’s Christmas!

October 13, 2019 – 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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October 13th, 2019

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Clergy Appreciation Sunday

 “Stand up and go, your faith has saved you.”

​ Rome Reflections


I had the great blessing of traveling to Rome the past two weeks.  It was a trip filled with many wonderful memories, sights, and experiences.  I wanted to share just a few thoughts with you this weekend about my experiences.  (See this week’s Bulletin for pictures!)

Rome is such a wonderful place to visit, especially as a Catholic, because the Church is so visible and tangible there.  As you walk through the city, not only do you see a lot of priests and nuns (or even sometimes bishops and cardinals), but also there are so many beautiful churches to visit.  The faith is so clearly visible throughout the entire city.

The food is excellent as well.  I love Italian food—pizza and pasta.  And I was able to enjoy so many wonderful types of both.


You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. VanDenBroeke

Saints and Superheroes Breakfast

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Please join us Sunday, October 13 for the Saints and Superheroes Breakfast! From 8am – Noon we will be serving scrambled eggs, sausage, pancakes, coffee and juice.

Kids – come dressed up as your favorite saint or superhero and you’ll be entered to win prizes!

Meet our very own law enforcement, fire and rescue superheroes.

Proceeds will be used to purchase life saving AEDs and first aid stations.

Sponsored by the Lonsdale Knights of Columbus. 

October 6th, 2019 – 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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October 6th, 2019

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“If you have faith the size of this mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”

​ The Baptistry (Part 2)

Continued from September 22…

In addition to the baptismal font, there are several other important objects kept in the baptistry.  Most importantly are the Paschal Candle, the baptismal candle, the oil of catechumens, and the oil of chrism.

The Paschal candle, also called the Easter candle, is symbolic of Christ—the light of the world.  This candle itself has great symbolism.  A new Paschal candle is lit each year at the Easter Vigil.  It is lit outside the church from the Easter fire, and is then processed into the church as the priest or deacon calls out “the light of Christ”.  As the candle enters the church, all the lights are off, and so this candle alone gives light to the building.  This is symbolic of Jesus Christ coming to our world darkened by sin and enlightening it by his grace and his promise of resurrection from the dead.

The baptismal candle is lit during the Rite of Baptism from the Paschal candle and given to the parents and godparents as a symbol of faith in Jesus Christ being given to the individual who is baptized.  As the Rite of Baptism says: “Parents and godparents, this light is entrusted to you to be kept burning brightly.  This child of yours has been enlightened by Christ.  He is to walk always as a child of the light.  May he keep the flame of faith alive in his heart.  When the Lord comes, may he go out to meet him with all the saints in the heavenly kingdom.

During the Easter Vigil, after the Paschal candle enters the church, all those present in the church hold candles and light them from the Paschal candle.  These candles are a reminder of the candle they were given at their baptism, and the faith we now have in Christ.

There are two oils used during baptism.  The first is the oil of catechumens.  This oil is put on the chest of the individual and is symbolic of God’s strength being given to the person.  The second oil is the oil of chrism.  Chrism is a very special oil which is used for consecrating people and objects.  In this case, as the Rite of Baptism says, the individual who has been baptized is consecrated with the “chrism of salvation.  As Christ was anointed Priest, Prophet, and King, so may you live always as a member of his body, sharing everlasting life”.

Of course, the most significant part of baptism is the water.  We use water every day for two things: for washing and for life.  In other words, we need to drink water to live, and we need water to be clean.  Very beautifully, the sacraments are physical rituals that bring about a spiritual effect.  So, when I pour water over a child’s head for baptism, while I am not trying to give them physical life or physically clean them, I am rather giving them spiritual life and spiritual cleansing.  In other words, the sacrament of baptism brings about in the soul the effects that water brings about naturally in us physically.

As a conclusion, it is important to remember that baptism must always be understood as connected with faith.  As St. Paul declared to his jailer in Philippi: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household”.  Then “at once”, the passage continues, “he and all his household were baptized”.  Faith and baptism go hand in hand.  Just as faith would be incomplete without seeking baptism, so too baptism without a living faith would be empty.  As the Catechism says, “Baptism is the source of that new life in Christ from which the entire Christian life springs forth”, and “faith must grow after Baptism”.

May our faith in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit continue to grow, and may the name of Jesus Christ be proclaimed to the ends of the earth for the salvation of all!

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. VanDenBroeke


September 29th, 2019 – 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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September 29th, 2019

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Priesthood Sunday

“If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.”


Archbishop Flynn

Last Sunday, September 22nd, Archbishop Harry Flynn passed away.  He was the 8th Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and led our diocese from 1995 to 2008.

Archbishop Flynn was a wonderful man, priest, and archbishop.  He is fondly remembered for his gentle and pastoral care of everyone he encountered.  He was a wonderful preacher, and spoke with zeal about loving Christ and living the Christian life.  He loved being a priest, and would often say, “If I had a hundred lives, I would live every one of them as a priest!

I will personally miss Archbishop Flynn.  He was the Archbishop when I entered the seminary, and I will never forget many of the wonderful moments I was able to spend with him as he led and inspired us.

One of the great accomplishments of Archbishop Flynn was the way he transformed our two seminaries, the Saint Paul Seminary, and Saint John Vianney College Seminary.  I credit it to his leadership that we now have two of the best seminaries in the country.

I will also always remember a very simple and beautiful way that Archbishop Flynn would pray.  He would repeat these simple words, and you could see they came from his heart: “Come Lord Jesus, come Lord Jesus, come Lord Jesus, come Lord Jesus… Lord Jesus, come.”  So simple, and yet so profound.  This prayer expresses the deep desire of every Christian’s heart longing for Jesus.  I say this prayer often, and I invite you to do so as well, but to say it slowly from the heart.

The funeral for Archbishop Flynn will be on Monday, September 30th, at 11am at the Cathedral.  I encourage you to consider joining me for this beautiful Mass as we pray for the repose of his soul.


Diaconate Ordination in Rome

This Monday, I am heading to Rome for a very special occasion.  I will be attending the ordination to the diaconate of a good friend of mine, Clayton Forner.  He and I both grew up attending Guardian Angels Catholic Church in Chaska, MN.  Thus, his ordination is a very special event, not only because he is a good friend, but because he will be ordained at the Vatican!  The Pope himself won’t be celebrating the ordination, rather, an American Bishop will be celebrating it, but the ordination will take place in St. Peter’s Basilica.

Clayton is a seminarian studying in Rome, and he will be ordained a priest next May along with four other men from our Archdiocese who are studying at the Saint Paul Seminary.

I will be gone from September 30th through October 10th.  In case of pastoral emergencies in my absence, please call St. Nicholas in New Market, or Most Holy Trinity in Veseli.

You are in my daily prayers.

God bless you,

Fr. VanDenBroeke